Dungeon Siege III Demo a Letdown

Sigh.

So last night, my PS3 FINALLY finished downloading DSIII, and I played frantically so that I would still have time to pre-order on Amazon if I wanted the game (it came out today). I was very disappointed.

Since it doesn’t fit into another category, I will just say that I really applaud them for attempting to give me an important female character to play as (that was not just a female version of the main character).

Also, Katarina’s breasts were terribly distracting.

Sound

The voice acting was horrible. The narrator was the best of the bunch, but he sounded like a voice I’d heard in a half-dozen cartoons with mysterious, grizzled old men.

My character, Anjali, sounded like one of those voices where you type words into a computer and it speaks…but a female version. I actually am curious to know if that is what it was. It was terrible. A GPS has more emotion in its voice than she does!

The other characters are somewhere between Anjali and Odo (the narrator): horrendous-to-unsatisfactory.

Graphics

The graphics would have been amazing on my PS2. Sadly, on my PS3, they were simply passable, but I may have been spoiled by beauties like Mass Effect 2 and DAII, so I did not hold the mediocre graphics against the game. The close-ups of the characters when they spoke were not bad at all, and I enjoyed the body rigs for the two female characters I saw.

Cutscenes

Interestingly, the cutscenes and opening scenes, which most RPGs use as a chance to basically show mini-movies of the game, were simply the narrator talking over a dull brown map. Small snippets of still pictures and scenes flashed around, creating an effect that might have been cool if you hadn’t seen that same effect completely maxed-out on awesome in Dragon Age II’s cutscenes.

Instead of seeming different and interesting, it seemed to point glaringly to the cheaper graphics of the game, and forced me to focus on Odo’s grating voice (there was an option to skip, but I came for the story, so why would I skip through it?).

An example of what you might see in a cutscene. Note the brown.

Dialogue

You know what I really loved, though? I got to interrupt people. If they were talking and I wanted to move on to another topic, I could just interrupt them…and they actually made it sound like that other person was cut off rudely, lol.

The first dialogue opportunity really perked me up during this dull game. The conversations are set up ME style, with different options on a radial menu. I certainly wasn’t expecting that!

Gameplay

This game was simple and familiar to play. A few buttons for attack, and target enemies by pressing in their direction. Piece of cake.

As Anjali, I could switch my stance to be a ranged or melee fighter. Combat was rather uninteresting to me, but this may have had something to do with how far away I felt from the characters, even though I was zoomed in as far as I was allowed. To me, it felt like I was fighting the same bad guy over and over. But no one minds a good dungeon crawl once in a while, so that wasn’t as big a deal. I noticed that there were more slots for more special moves, so that may have improved if I played the entire game.

The “Flippity Kick” as I call it

It was interesting to discover that there were no health potions and that my special moves built up from fighting, even if I was fighting using my special moves. This meant that I couldn’t just bulk up on health potions, and it also meant that I could use the special powers a lot, since I kept building them up so easily.

I liked the equipment system. Red highlighted numbers and green highlighted numbers on a nice, easy, Excel sheet-esque spreadsheet allowed me to easily decide what to equip. Other games could learn from this super-easy interface (looking at you, Dragon Age).

A fun surprise occurred when I leveled up. Anjali had skills that I could upgrade in a way that reminded me of Borderlands. I could choose about three different ways to upgrade or play each upgrade as well, so I could see there being a lot of customization available in this way.

For example, so far I gained a new power to summon a Fire Jackal and to upgrade my fireball throwing skill.

IMO

Despite the things I did like about it, overall, this game contained uninteresting characters, boring dialogue, and a world that I didn’t care about. For me to enjoy an RPG, I have to feel engaged, and this game just didn’t do it for me in the demo.

IGN had an article that really captured how I felt about this demo, even though they were talking about the full game.

Here is a video of the first fifty minutes of the game if you don’t mind the spoiler. Otherwise, I would say that this may be your kind of game if you don’t care about characterization and an engaging story, because the other things (besides graphics) are pretty solid.

I ultimately did not pre-order this game, if you were curious.

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8 thoughts on “Dungeon Siege III Demo a Letdown

  1. Just a quick update; Square sent me a review copy (yay!) but I thought it was funny enough to mention here: the first patch on PS3 breaks the narrator voice. Still plays fine and subtitles show up, but you don’t get to hear Odo. So, they broke the *one* thing you seemed to like. Lol.

  2. (Err, I finally played the demo myself this morning and loved it! I almost bought it today, but it was either get it, or get four used games. Heavy Rain, MLB The Show 11, Darksiders, and Fallout: New Vegas. I think I made the right choice!)

  3. Err, “reviews” I don’t really mean formal reviews, as I avoid reading those if I might be playing it soon. A handful of game writers were talking about it and most seemed to be enjoying it. PC players aren’t real happy with that version.

    OXM did give it an 8.5/10 (http://oxmonline.com/article/reviews/xbox-360/a-f/dungeon-siege-iii)

    I d/l’d the demo last night so I’ll have to check it out for myself.

    I admit, I’m addicted to loot games, and it sounds like DSIII has that in spades.

    And thanks! I’m still working on coding in some new features, but I’m glad to hear you like it. 🙂

  4. I’ve heard reviews all over the place on this one. Some people love it, some people hate it. I might have to check out the demo . . . hadn’t realized there was one . . .

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